Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Justin Sweet

Again, I hesitate to use certain contemporary artist's image, especially when an artist has a big disclaimer on their website, but again, this is solely for education purposes and are not being reproduced for profit of any kind, so I hope I am not stepping on any toes. And again, if so, please contact me. That said, off we go.

I had the pleasure of seeing Justin Sweet give two painting demostrations at Illuxcon, one digital and one traditional. Justin Sweet is an imposing man, quiet and thoughtful and extremely intimidating at the same time. But watching him paint was like watching a child play. Nothing comes more natural to a child than playing and the way in which Mr. Sweet wielded his mediums demonstrated the same ease. I am not sure what the title of this piece is and imagine that it is digital (although his style is nearly identical whether it is digital or traditional). This piece portrays an epic battle between a unicorn and a griffin. The unicorn, typically a symbol of light and goodness is poised to battle against a griffin which often times is a darker creature. Mr. Sweet composed this piece so that the griffin is higher in the sky than the unicorn, indicating that it has an advantage. The unicorn is in a weaker position, on the edge of a cliff with no ability to fly as the griffin does. This brings to mind something Tristan Elwell said to me about a Rikki Tiki Tavi illustration that I did. Paraphrasing, he stated that even though the protagonist of the main character is position to be victorious, we must be made to believe that our main character can overcome and be victorious. Mr. Sweet has accomplished this marvelously. Between the body positioning, the energetic wind swept mane, and the exposed underbelly of the griffin, I have no doubt that this battle will end in the unicorn's victory. I wish I had that much faith in Rikki Tiki.

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